Labour’s shadow business secretary has hinted he would slash the number of ministers in a bid to give more power to the regions if his party wins power in 2015.

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Chuka Umunna heralded the French system of government as he set out his plans at a lunch in Westminster.

Although he did not reveal a blueprint for how power would be handed out, he said: “How can I be dictating to people in Manchester, Sunderland, Newcastle, Birmingham - wherever it is - what is best for their regional economy?

“They know what’s best for their regional economy, they know how they can be world-beating - and we’ve got to give them the tools to do that.”

Labour has already indicated that it would keep Local Enterprise Partnership, such New Anglia in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Mr Umunna said: “They (in France) have about 40 ministers – we have over 80 in this country - and that’s partly because there’s a lot more power for their mayors and local elected representatives. Therefore, there isn’t the need for so many ministers at the centre. That illustrates just how centralised we are as a country,” he said.

Asked if Labour also wanted to cut minister in the UK he replied: “I think that’s certainly something I can envisage – yes. If you end up with a smaller number of ministers, because you have pushed power out, then I’m fine with that.”

Over the next few months, for transport secretary and Labour peer Lord Adonis will be touring the country as he carries out a “growth review” for the Labour Party and Mr Umunna said he eagerly awaited the results.

14 comments

  • @all those moaning - the whole point about devolution of power is that the more local the decision base, the easier it is for individuals to get involved and make a difference. Just think: instead of criticising from your lofty positions of moral and political certainty, you could actually get involved, and do something that made a difference. Or is that too scary? Here in France, devolution is right down to the commune level, and covers some surprisingly important decisions. It works extremely well.

    Add your comment |

    GoneAway

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Whilst we are at it, lets choose our representatives at random, not regurgitate the same old party politicians, at massive costs to the taxpayers, perpetuate corruption at every electoral level, because they know how to manipulate Parliament for their own best friends ends and they know how to schmooze their voters self interest and how to manipulate an antiquated electoral system to their advantages. Sadly those who advocate that not voting is a political expression, have failed to stimulate the political debate that resulted after Russell Brands mutterings, nor have they created a wide enough platform to debate and select a possible way forward. These priviledged party politicians should not get coverage for utterly devoid statements such as this, whatever party they are from, we are not in charge of our local politics and they do not want us to be in charge, this is hogwash.

    Add your comment |

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Whitehall should loose all their powers, we should decide what level of funding we support a massive civil service for and unless these servants find an automatic mechanismn, a regular reform and innovation period, updating their existing knopwledge with more businesslike practises, this support should be denied.

    Add your comment |

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • There is a tiny minuscule group of County Councillors that I would trust. The rest of them I wouldn't ask to run a whelk stall. Mr Umunna needs to sit down with a nice hot cuppa and the collected works of John Martin. That'll leave him in no doubt what we think of his idea.

    Add your comment |

    alecto

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • I can only speak about Norfolk and the thought of giving these charlatans, more power, would fill me with dread.

    Add your comment |

    John L Norton

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • There is a tiny minuscule group of County Councillors that I would trust. The rest of them I wouldn't ask to run a whelk stall. Mr Umunna needs to sit down with a nice hot cuppa and the collected works of John Martin. That'll leave him in no doubt what we think of his idea.

    Add your comment |

    alecto

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • How could you possibly give these people more power. The LEP and NCC are the biggest joke going, they have no idea what's so ever.

    Add your comment |

    Sweet cheeks

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • The Labour party does not exist, the white working classes are in despair.

    Add your comment |

    John Bridge

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • I think the "moaning" here is basd on a complete mistrust of Labour and of the local politicians we have here. Since you appear to live some where else you are maybe not up to speed with the local authority debacles we have had to endure here, plus many years of bumbling "local" initiatives. I'm quite happy with a central government at the moment, it ain't perfect but it sort of works.

    Add your comment |

    Smellthecoffee

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • this is the labour party who do not think the british people should have the vote on staying in the EU or leaving . ,The bottom line is that they would deny the british people their democratic right to decide their own future

    Add your comment |

    milecross

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • This would be a first for Labour. Under their governance the number of ministers and Quangos just grew and grew.

    Add your comment |

    BG

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Gone away? You obviously are looking at France through rose-coloured specs. Is that why there are so many french people flocking to the UK? My french friends constantly moan about the overstuffed burocracy. Perhaps your knowledge of the french language limits your exposure to what the french have to put up with.

    Add your comment |

    maryjane

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Does the Labour party have a big bucket of stupid suggestions that they dip into every few weeks? First of all Red Ed with his benign bletherings, now this one, who is very clearly showing a lack of any knowledge of his subject. Such an idea in the East of England would just be chaos, and it would allow the same old fogeys to build on their powerbase. Pathetic.

    Add your comment |

    Smellthecoffee

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • It appears that silly season is now upon us once again. Mr Umunna is making the wild assumption that county councils are fit and proper to take on such power yet it has become blatantly obvious that organisations such as NCC are no longer fit for purpose. The fact that crazed axeman Lord Adonis is involved is grave cause for concern too.

    Add your comment |

    User Removed

    Friday, January 31, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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